Tariq A. Al Maeena
The US presidential election process is in full swing as America gets to select a new president or stay with the same one a year from now. Many from the Democratic party hope to unseat the current president Donald Trump when all the votes are counted in next November.
The hopefuls are floating many issues on their platform agendas. Unemployment, health care, the high cost of a college education are at the forefront of several debates, with a smattering of discussions on foreign issues such as the cozy relations between Trump and Vladmir Putin of Russia or even worse, with the North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.
One particular candidate has chosen to publicly target Saudi Arabia as part of her campaign platform and wastes no time accusing the kingdom of a variety of wrongdoings when addressing her supporters.
She is none other than Tulsi Gabbard, the congresswoman from the state of Hawaii and an American of Samoan ancestry who many believe to be of Indian origin. She is not. Her parents were Samoan Catholics, but later on in life her mother adopted Hinduism. Tulsi followed her when she became a teenager.
In recent times Gabbard has ramped up her attack against Saudi Arabia. Early this year in an address to hopeful supporters for her bid to the presidency, Tulsi charged that “For too long, the U.S. has turned a blind eye to the atrocities being committed against civilians in Yemen….a genocidal war that has killed tens of thousands of Yemeni civilians with bombs and mass starvation, creating the worst humanitarian crisis in the world…The time for crocodile tears and baseless platitudes is over.
Enough is enough. The U.S must end its support for Saudi Arabia and stop waging interventionist wars that increase destruction, death and suffering around the world…”
More recently, in an address at a 9/11 tribute museum in New York last month, she called for the end of all U.S. assistance to Saudi Arabia.
“We should not be selling them our weapons. We should not be aiding or providing them with any kind of support so long as they continue with the kind of actions that I’ve just spoken about,” she said of Saudi Arabia. She continued on by slamming Saudi Arabia for the death of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in its consulate in Istanbul last year as well as for its role in the conflict in Yemen.Is it her hatred of all things Muslim? Or is it her affiliation with India’s Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)? Perhaps it is time Gabbard re-educates herself on the realities on the ground in the Middle East before making such caustic or foolish statements.
It is obvious that Saudi Arabia is her favorite go-to punching bag during her campaign rhetoric and she doesn’t seem to care if there is any truth in what she has to say about the kingdom.
But yet this is the same Tulsi who wooed and was among the first to welcome the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he had arrived in the US last month following his unilateral abrogation of the right of more than 8 million Kashmiris by tearing up age-old declarations and agreements that provided them with a special status.
She also apologized profusely for not being able to join the “Howdy Modi” event scheduled to be held in Houston on Sept. 22 by Indian Americans honoring Modi’s visit.
This is the same Modi who in 2002 was chief minister of the Indian state of Gujarat when a fire broke out in a train carrying Hindu pilgrims. A report immediately following the incident was filed by a UK correspondent who wrote: “Within hours and without a shred of evidence, Modi declared that the Pakistani secret services had been to blame. What followed was mass bloodshed: 1,000 dead on official estimates, more than 2,000 by independent tallies. The vast majority of those who died were Muslim.”
With such a stain on Modi’s background, it is unfortunate that Tulsi Gabbard choses to ignore this and instead targets Saudi Arabia with her toxic rabble-rousing.
Is it her hatred of all things Muslim? Or is it her affiliation with India’s Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)? Perhaps it is time Gabbard re-educates herself on the realities on the ground in the Middle East before making such caustic or foolish statements. –The Daily Mail-Arab News Exchange Items